Medical Officers of the Malta Garrison
Lane John William

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Lieutenant Colonel John William Lane MB BCh BAO LM (Dubl 1907)
11 Sep 1882 [Rathmines Dublin] – 10 Jan 1966 [Frimley Green Surrey]


Lieutenant Colonel John William Lane qualified MB BCh from Trinity College Dublin in 1907. He trained in midwifery at the Rotunda, Dublin and obtained his Licentiate in midwifery (LM) and was a Bachelor in the Art of Obstetrics.

Lieutenant Colonel John William Lane was commissioned Lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps on 1 August 1908. He passed the examination held in London for commissions in the Royal Army Medical Corps. Forty-eight candidates competed; thirty were accepted. Dr David Stirling Buist MB BCh of Edinburgh University scored the highest mark of 640; the lowest mark was 486 scored by Dr Hector Colin Donald Macarthur MB BCh of Edinburgh University. Dr J W Lane came 28th with 490 marks.

Lieutenant Colonel John William Lane served in India and with the British Expeditionary Force in France and Belgium. After leaving the service he entered General Practice in Frimley Green, Surrey where he died on 10 January 1966.

Service Record — John William Lane

1 Aug 1908 Appointed Lieutenant RAMC on probation. In December 1908, was posted to the Irish Command.

Jan 1909 Posted to Dublin.

Sep 1909 Change of Station from Dublin to Galway.

Oct 1909 Change of Station from Galway to Dublin.

May 1910 Passed the examination for promotion of Majors of the Royal Army Medical Corps in Technical Subjects.

Apr 1911 Change of Station from Dublin to Poona.

May 1911 Change of Station from Poona to Kamptee.

1 Feb 1912 Promoted Captain RAMC.

July 1913 Granted six months' leave ex India.

28 July 1914 Start of the Great War.
4 Aug 1914 Britain declares war on Germany.

May 1914 Change of Station from Lahore to Dalhousie.

1914–1916 Served with the British Expeditionary Force in France and Belgium.

Apr 1916 Captain J W Lane MD was appointed temporary Major whilst commanding a Field Ambulance.

July 1916 Relinquished the temporary rank of Major.

1916–1919 Served in India.

Aug 1919 Appointed Acting Colonel from 19 August to 27 August 1919.

1 Aug 1920 Captain (Brevet Major) J W Lane promoted substantive Major RAMC.

Malta 26 Apr 1924 Arrived from England.

In December 1924, he published a letter in the British Medical Journal on umbilical inflammation and infantile wasting. Writing from Malta he observed:

A few of my patients have steadily lost weight after birth, although they slept well, ate well, had no digestive disturbances, and were not fretful. The only abnormality detected was an unhealed navel. Tying off, or rubbing off, this friable granulation like lump resulted within three days in a steady and increasing gain in weight. This small operation was performed on patients aged from 3 weeks to 3 months. I have hitherto observed no mention of this condition as a cause of loss of weight in young infants. Inanition and marasmus are said to occur almost entirely in artificially fed children, I suggest that this infection of the navel and not the artificial food may be the fundamental cause. After removing the growth spirit should be applied to the stump.

Malta 1925 On garrison duty.

Malta Oct 1926 Passed his examinations for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel.

Malta 8 July 1927 On home leave.

Malta 20 Sept 1927 Returned from leave.

Malta 1928 On garrison duty.

Malta 14 May 1929 Returned to England.

23 June 1932 Arrived in England from Malta.

14 Oct 1933 Promoted Lieutenant Colonel RAMC.

23 Jan 1935 Posed to India.

12 Aug 1936 Placed on retired pay with reserve liability.

11 Sept 1937 Ceased to belong to the Regular Army Reserve of Officers having attained the age limit of liability to recall.


  • Entry No: 669. Drew R. 1968. Commissioned Officers in the Medical Services of the British Army 1690–1960. Vol. II. Roll of Officers in the Royal Army Medical Corps 1898–1960, London: Wellcome Historical Medical Library.
  • Succession Books Vol XXIII, Returns of statement of service of RAMC Officers.
  • Umbilical Inflammation and Infantile wasting, Br Med J (1924); 2: 1144 (Published 13 December 1924).